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Art aligns with the times and no one has demonstrated this other than TOBi. The rapper-singer embarks on a journey of self-reflection and then some in his new video for "Growth."
Produced by ClayJay, iLLMIND and Nate Smith, the track is the opener for his debut album STILL and fits the tone of the times. Originally inspired by time growing up in Nigeria and Canada, the video takes us on a journey with TOBi as he derives elements of growth and wonder with dirt and broken glass.
“I gave myself a pat on the back when I wrote ‘Growth,'" TOBi tells VIBE. "I’m proud to be this candid about life, just like my favorite artists. It really is exponential growth in terms of the quality of my mind and my intentions. Look how far we came from deficit to baseline to surplus. I left a powerful affirmation at the end of the song, by saying ‘bigger and better now.’ Like Ace Boogie says, now we just gotta maintain."
There's rain, tears and then some scattered in the visuals, all connecting to TOBi's creative take on masculinity. "I call this s**t post-traumatic growth/Out of Hell, free to go/Send a shout, I propose a toast," he says in the song opener.
Released May of last year, STILL gained critical acclaim thanks to tracks like "City Blues," and "Werking." In September 2017, he gained attention thanks to his song "Hidden Fences" heard on Issa Rae's HBO series, Insecure. He's also worked with the likes of Van Jess and The Game.
Peep the visuals for "Growth" above.
Toni Braxton is back with new music and a new home label. The singer-songwriter released "Do It," her first single since minting her new deal with Universal's Island Records.
On her latest Antonio Dixon-produced record, Braxton sings over a piano and violin-assisted melody, while offering encouraging advice of letting go of unhealthy or toxic love. "He ain’t gonna change, if you take him back/ it's gonna be the same, just do what you need to do,” she soothingly belts. In a press release, the seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist reveals how a friend inspired the song lyrics.
“I wrote this song about a year ago when a friend was going through the struggles of trying to end a relationship that wasn’t good for her," she explains. "We have all been through situations like this when there is really nothing more to say, you know he’s not right and you just need to do what you need to do. There is also an element of hope in the song, that after you do what you need to do things will get better.”
Braxton's new record marks her new label deal with Island Records. The President/CEO Darcus Beese states “It’s an honor and pleasure to welcome the incomparable Toni Braxton to the Island Records family. Her legendary catalogue, unique sound, and extraordinary artistry continue to set her apart and we look forward to the world hearing the new music.”
"Do It" is Braxton's first single since her 2018 album, Sex & Cigarettes. Hear the new song co-written by herself, Babyface, Percy Bady, and Antonio Dixon below.
This week has a flood of new music: PARTYNEXTDOOR has returned with his first album in four years, Jeezy surprised fans with a new release, and Knxwledge has released a new album. Look below for more on the new projects to drop this week.
PARTYNEXTDOOR – PARTYMOBILE Fans of PARTYNEXTDOOR have been waiting for years for another album – despite dropping two EPs in 2017, it's been nearly four years since a full-length project from the Canadian singer/songwriter, while other artists ate while being inspired by his sound. Today sees the release of PARTYMOBILE, his third studio album. Anchored by the single "BELIEVE IT" featuring Rihanna (who he previously wrote the "Work" for), the album also has appearances by Drake and Bad Bunny. Apple Music | TIDAL
Joyner Lucas – ADHD With the success of his Will Smith homage "Will" earning him millions of views on YouTube (and kudos from the Fresh Prince himself), Joyner Lucas plans to build on the momentum with his new album ADHD. His third album has more star power than any of his previous records: Young Thug, Chris Brown, Logic and Fabolous all make appearances and producers such as Timbaland and Boi-1da lend beats. We'll see how his proven lyricism stands up with the expanded budget. Apple Music | TIDAL
Jeezy – Twenty/20 Pyrex Vision While the word was that Jeezy's 2019 album TM104: The Legend of the Snowman was supposed to be his last, the ATL rap legend returned today with a surprise release. Jeezy fans should be satisfied: all of the seven tracks on Twenty/20 Pyrex Vision are produced by longtime collaborator Shawty Redd. While bumping this in the whip might be difficult with the coronavirus shutdowns, this is still a welcome addition to the catalog. Apple Music | TIDAL
Jessie Reyez – BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US Mortality isn’t an easy topic, but Jessie Reyez isn’t here for an easy battle. A year in the making, her debut album Before Love Came To Kill Us takes listeners on a journey of love and death, a beyond timely notion no one can ignore. Tracks like “Intruders” and the 6LACK-assisted “Imported” takes us on the edge of love’s despair while her harmonic collaborations with Eminem feels like redemption is right around the corner. The Grammy-nominated singer has come a long way since YouTube covers and her breakout single, “Figures” but luckily for us, her explorations with love are almost infinite. – Desire Thompson | Apple Music | TIDAL
Knxwledge – 1988 Some music fans may have just learned about Knxwledge in recent years, because of his album with Anderson .Paak as the duo NxWorries and his contributions to Kendrick Lamar's Grammy-winning To Pimp A Butterfly. But real heads know his work extends long beyond that: the producer has dropped hundreds of beat tapes on Bandcamp, each of them showcasing his off-kilter, soulful soundscapes. His new album 1988, according to a press release, precedes his prolific run though. "As the story is told, little baby Knx was left alone by his mother for just a few moments and crawled to a family member's vintage SP-12 sampler. When his mother returned he had already produced his first beats and nearly mastered the machine," reads a press release. "These tracks, all produced before nap time while rocking a Nike diaper, were stored over the years on floppy discs, then brought to his studio in recent months where they were finished up, mixed, and mastered." The album features .Paak, along with Durand Bernarr and Rose Gold. Apple Music | TIDAL
Little Dragon – New Me, Same Us Swedish band Little Dragon has been consistently making music for some 13 years, and they say that their sixth album, New Me, Same Us, is their "most collaborative for us yet. ... We worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger. We are all on our own personal journeys, full of change, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who we are.” Apple Music | TIDAL
Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby (Remix EP) Ari Lennox's debut Shea Butter Baby was one of VIBE's favorite albums of 2019, and the singer has returned with a short EP that remixes three of its highlights. "BMO (Remix)" keeps the original while adding a feature by Doja Cat, Smino appears on "I Been," and "Facetime" has an appearance by Durand Bernarr. Apple Music | TIDAL